As the Bears and the NFL celebrate their 100th season in 2019, fans will have the chance to vote for the greatest moment in franchise history. They’ll choose from four moments that will be featured in chronological order this week on ChicagoBears.com.
The winning moment will be announced during the regular season. It will then compete against the greatest moments from every other NFL team via a bracket tournament, with the top moment in league history set to be revealed at NFL Honors the night before Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
The following story details the Bears’ 46-10 destruction of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX on Jan. 26, 1986 in New Orleans.
The 1985 Bears captivated the nation with a collection of characters who dominated opponents and brought fun back to pro football.
That was never more evident than in their 46-10 thrashing of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX at the Louisiana Superdome.
The relentless Bears defense battered the overmatched AFC champions, yielding just seven yards rushing, registering seven sacks and scoring on an interception return and a safety.
"I tried to scramble, but there was no place to go," said Patriots quarterback Tony Eason. "They played an almost perfect game."
It didn't start out that way for the Bears. Walter Payton fumbled on the second play from scrimmage and the Patriots recovered at the Chicago 19. After three incompletions, Tony Franklin's 36-yard field goal gave New England a 3-0 lead.
The Bears responded by scoring 44 unanswered points to set a record that has since been broken for the most lopsided victory in Super Bowl history.
The Patriots gained positive yards on just one of their first 15 plays. Eason was yanked in favor of veteran Steve Grogan after going 0 of 6 with three sacks. In the first half, New England had one first down, minus-five yards rushing and minus-14 yards passing.
"I'm not embarrassed," Patriots guard Ron Wooten said after the game. "I'm humiliated."
After Kevin Butler's 28-yard field goal tied the score 3-3, Super Bowl XX MVP Richard Dent forced fumbles on consecutive possessions that Dan Hampton and Mike Singletary recovered, both at the New England 13.
The Bears converted the turnovers into Butler's 24-yard field goal and Matt Suhey's 11-yard touchdown run to take a 13-3 lead.
Jim McMahon's 24-yard pass to Suhey set up McMahon's 2-yard TD run that gave the Bears a 20-3 second-quarter lead. At that point, the Patriots still hadn't produced a first down. Butler's 25-yard field goal on the final play of the half made it 23-3.
The onslaught continued in the second half. After McMahon's 1-yard TD dive made it 30-3, Reggie Phillips returned an interception 28 yards for a score and William "Refrigerator" Perry thundered in from the 1 to widen the margin to 44-3.
At that point, NBC play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg said, ‘If it was a prizefight, they'd have to stop it."
After a New England touchdown, Henry Waechter sacked Grogan in the end zone for a safety and the game's final points.
The Bears returned home as NFL champions for the first time since 1963.
"This is special," said coach Mike Ditka. "We made history today. That's beautiful."
The Super Bowl victory capped one of the most dominant seasons in NFL history. The Bears went 15-1 and became the first team in league annals to record back-to-back shutouts in the playoffs, blanking the New York Giants 21-0 in the divisional round and the Los Angeles Rams 24-0 in the NFC Championship Game, both at Soldier Field.